Even When You’re Not Here, I Still Feel You With Me

I met some men the other night, friends of friends. One of them was patient with me, tender, even with his calloused hands. His thumb and pointer finger pressed softly against mine, guiding my hold an inch lower on the pool stick. “There,” he said, “Like this.”

I could feel the ridges of his fingertips, brittle and brown from the stained wood and ink he worked with. They reminded me of your hands—the ones that can tie knots, can fix leaks in bathroom sinks, can change oil and tires, build shelves, and hold my face gently between palms. Continue reading

Perhaps Your Memory Will Be Forever Within Me

I’m sitting in a coffee shop this morning, watching the clouds keep their persistent haze over the ocean. There are people all around me: talking, shuffling on their stools, sipping coffees, stirring spoons in their cups. And here I am, sitting, wondering about all the things I have yet to experience, or never got the chance to.

Isn’t it funny how you can be in one place, and yet, be thinking of something completely different?

I struggle with that — with being in the present moment and not longing to be anywhere else. Sometimes I’m enjoying something and suddenly wish I could share that sliver of time with someone who isn’t here. Or I’m writing and wanting nothing more than to read my words to a person who’s no longer on this earth.

This morning, I’m thinking of a person I’ve lost, a person who I can no longer reach across the table and touch, whose eyes I can no longer look into. I’m thinking of the words I would tell him, her. The stories, the jokes, the laughter we would share in this little coffee shop, our lives completely different and perhaps tighter intertwined.

It’s bittersweet to realize that we continue, that love continues, even if one member is absent. And I’m holding onto the beauty of that thought this morning, as I watch the clouds mix with the grey ocean — one solemn, hazy blur.

Sometimes I wonder if the people we lose will forever live in us. And I wonder if we can honor their memory in the way we choose to move forward, to live and love, even after they’re gone.